23 January 2015

All About Writing

For the next few weeks we will be focusing on "all about" writing.  This is another type of nonfiction writing in which students will be able to express their expertise on a subject in writing.  Rather than writing in a story format we will learn how "all about" writing may have sections or chapters telling about specific parts of a subject and may even have a table of contents.  Students will brainstorm a list of topics they know about and then write the facts and information they know about that topic.  Help your child at home by discussing various topics (animals, plants, games, sports, etc.).  Have them list information about a topic they enjoy so that they will have some ideas to write about at school.  Also encourage your child to compose this type of writing at home.

Just a reminder that our Kindy 500 is coming up on February 6th.  Please make sure your child has a box prepared as some sort of transportation vehicle.  We are excited about this fun day!

13 January 2015

Teen Numbers & Story Structure

We have been using ten frames all year to help us develop number sense.  We are now extending the use of two ten frames to help us practice those difficult "teen" numbers (numbers 11-19).  By using two ten frames students can see one full ten frame that represents a group of ten and then another ten frame that represents "some ones".  In this picture they see a group of ten and 3 ones.  They can put the two together to know that a group of 10 and three more make 13.  Students are encouraged to look at patterns and ways to rearrange dots mentally on a ten frame to find out how many.  The visual representation of the ten frames helps students be able to organize objects into groups of 10s and making it easier to count higher numbers.

Continue working with your student on talking about the character, setting, problem and resolution in stories.  For the next several weeks we will be reading and learning about our own feelings, our families and our community.  We will be looking at books in which characters experience the same thing but have different feelings about the event.  We will also talk about how we would feel in the same situation.  You may want to discuss some of the feelings characters have in the books you read at home and talk with your child about how he/she would react if he/she were in the story.

For our phonemic awareness practice we will be focusing on blending and segmenting the phonemes in simple CVC words.  Please continue to practice this at home as well as identifying beginning/ending sounds and rhyming words.

09 January 2015

SEP Conferences

Wednesday, January 14th and Thursday morning, January 15th we will be holding parent conferences.  Watch for an email reminding you of your scheduled conference time.  Please contact the front office if your time needs to be changed.  Reminder:  there will be no AM Kindergarten on the 15th due to our SEP conferences.  We look forward to meeting with all of you to share the great gains your child has made so far this year.  There will be no school for all students on Friday, January 16th.  Thank you for your support!

06 January 2015


It is great to be back at school learning and sharing.  For the next few weeks we will be working hard on learning about measurement.  Students will be able to participate in different types of measurements including:  weight, length, and size.  We will predict how many unifix cubes weigh the same as various objects and then use our balance scales to confirm or reject our predictions and to help us make better predictions for the next object.  Students will also compare lengths of objects to determine which one is longer/shorter. 

Throughout the month we will be reading different versions of  the traditional folk tale, "The Mitten".  This engaging story about animals using a mitten as a warm winter home will provide opportunities for learning in math, science, and language arts.  Students will be able to notice how the size of the animals increase from small to large until the last and smallest animal causes problems for all the animals in the mitten.  We will be using paper animals to practice ordering the animals according to size.  Students will also be making their own paper version of the mitten story to practice retelling the story to a partner and then they will take their mitten home to share the story with their families. We will also compare/contrast the different versions of the story and even create our own mitten story during writing time.  Acting out the story will help students remember the characters, setting, problem and resolution of the story.

You will be seeing word family practice sheets coming home with your student for the next several months.  These include a card with letters written on a part of the card to slide through; a word family "house" with words written on it by your child; and word family flash cards.  Please use these items at home to help your child practice reading and writing these word family words.  We will also practice them at school so your child should be familiar with how to use the items when they bring them home.

We look forward to seeing you all at SEP conferences on Wednesday, January 14th or Thursday, January 15th.  Please watch for an email to remind you of your scheduled time (check your junk mail too).  You may contact the front office if you need to adjust the time for your visit or if no reminder comes electronically.

19 December 2014


December was a busy month for us in kindergarten.  We focused on the core skill of determining wants vs. needs in our lives.  We read several books such as The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell and Crispin:  The Pig Who Had It All by Ted Dewan to help us understand the importance of friendship and caring for others.  We talked about items such as food, clothing, and shelter as things we need to survive and how our families work together to provide those things for us.

We are continuing to work on phonemic awareness development specifically rhyming words, blending and segmenting words and phonemes (individual sounds), and identifying beginning and ending sounds.  Please continue to work with your student at home on these skills.  Also, continue to review all letters and sounds.  Work on fluency (speed of identification) and in random order.

In mathematics we focused on patterns (creating and extending) and finding numbers within numbers.  We worked with colored chips to create different combinations of numbers such as 2 and 6 make 8.  We then recorded our different combinations for numbers 4-10.  We also practiced visualization skills by looking at a picture for a few seconds and then recreating it on paper.  These visualization skills help students not only in identifying spatial relations but also in identifying shapes of letters and words.

We spent lots of time singing and preparing songs for our Sing Around The Christmas Tree performances!  We hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season.  We are looking forward to seeing you all on January 5th.  Also, a reminder that SEP conferences will be held on Wednesday, January 14th.

16 December 2014

PM Kindergarten Sing Around

Here is a short video and a few photos of our PM kindergarten performing their Christmas songs.


13 December 2014

How To Writing

For the past few weeks during writing time we have been working on producing non fiction writing specifically, "how to" writing.  Students discovered that not only are they writers but also teachers who can instruct others with their writing.  We first made lists of things we could write about in the how to format.  We learned that this type of writing is different from the personal narrative stories we had written before.  Students have been writing step by step instructions to tell how to make hot chocolate, how to make a snowman, how to make a pizza, how to brush you teeth and many more.  Ask your child about the steps we learned when writing how to stories:
  • make a list of ideas
  • write down the things you need
  • get/make how to writing paper
  • point to the boxes and say the steps aloud
  • sketch in the boxes what will happen in each step
  • write instructions to match the sketches
  • check to make sure the instructions make sense